A perfect smile boosts your confidence and overall good health. A lot is needed to achieve that ideal smile. You could benefit greatly from orthodontic treatment if you have misaligned or crowded teeth. Your dentist can recommend metal braces to straighten your teeth and restore your smile and confidence. It also helps avoid dental issues associated with teeth misalignment, including tooth decay and periodontitis. Metal braces are pretty standard. But, they require expert installation and proper care for you to achieve the desired results. For more information regarding metal braces and help with installation, talk to us at The Whittier Dentist. We have extensive training and experience in orthodontic treatment and general dentistry.

Orthodontic Treatment — Overview

Some people are born with beautifully straight teeth, but others have crooked and misaligned teeth that do not fit well together when you bite down. Crooked teeth will affect various functions like eating, biting, chewing, and speaking. They will affect your confidence and smile. Crooked teeth also lead to other dental problems like dental decay and periodontitis. You must consider orthodontic treatment to fix the underlying problem and treat any dental issue you could be experiencing.

Orthodontic treatment diagnoses, prevents, intercepts, guides, and corrects dental irregularities and bad bites. It involves the use of several treatment options, among them metal braces. A specialized dentist known as an orthodontist is the person to consult if you have dental misalignment issues and would like to know about the various treatment options available for you.

The orthodontic treatment brings a wide array of benefits to improve how you look and feel and your overall health. First, straightening your teeth will improve your appearance. It will enable you to smile again with confidence, without stressing about what others think of you. That would be difficult to achieve if you have misaligned or protruding teeth.

Second, misaligned teeth are hard to keep clean. Food particles are bound to remain in between your teeth after every meal. But you can remove them by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. However, that is difficult to achieve with misaligned teeth. Your brush cannot reach some spaces between teeth where food particles could be trapped.

When these particles remain in those spaces for long, they cause buildup and bacterial growth that damages your teeth. Eventually, you will experience dental decay and periodontitis. You will also deal with other issues like bad breath and tooth discoloration. Problems like these require extensive treatment and could significantly impact your overall health.

Orthodontists use various appliances to retrain your muscles and move the misaligned teeth in their correct positions. Braces are common fixed appliances comprising wires, bands, and brackets.

The bands act as anchors. They should go around each tooth. The orthodontist will attach the brackets at the front of each tooth, and the wires connect the bands to the brackets. When orthodontists tighten the wires, they (wires) apply pressure on the teeth, slowly moving them to their proper positions. You must visit your orthodontist every month after installation to have your braces adjusted for continuous treatment.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are a type of fixed appliance used in orthodontic treatment. They are pretty standard and a very effective way to straighten misaligned or crowded teeth. An orthodontist will recommend metal braces for the following reasons:

To Fix Dental Crowding

Overcrowding occurs when you seemingly have more teeth than your jaw can accommodate. Sometimes your jaw might be smaller and incapable of accommodating all developing teeth. Some of your teeth might have significant gaps, leaving insufficient space for other developing teeth. Overcrowding causes teeth to overlap and misalign. Metal braces can fix dental crowding and straighten your teeth, allowing each tooth to fit perfectly in its rightful position. When that happens, you can smile confidently. You will also be able to clean your teeth and reach even the most challenging areas. That would prevent dental issues like dental decay, gum diseases, and periodontitis.

To Correct a Bad Bite

A bad bite occurs when your teeth fail to fit perfectly when you bite down. Naturally, the teeth on your upper and lower jaws must match and fit well when they come together. A bad bite is the cause of several dental issues, including cracked, damaged, and sensitive teeth. It could also affect how you bite, chew, or even speak. Metal braces correct bad bites and all issues that come with it. You no longer have to worry about your teeth weakening or becoming damaged due to an overbite or underbite.

To Minimize Damage to Prominent Teeth

Prominent teeth occur due to several reasons like extra teeth, damaged and missing teeth. Dental crowding will also cause some teeth to protrude more than the others in the mouth. Prominent teeth are more prone to damage than other teeth in the mouth. Naturally, the human tooth is very strong. The enamel, the outer part of your teeth, is pretty solid and hard to damage. However, your teeth can weaken and crack after a long time of incorrect biting. Metal braces can straighten your teeth to restore prominent teeth to their rightful position, thereby protecting them from damage.

Orthodontic treatment with metal braces is pretty straightforward. However, this does not mean that anyone can install braces. It requires extra training by a general dentist to master orthodontic treatment techniques and procedures to make installations like these correctly. A skilled orthodontist will bond or cement the braces directly on the teeth. Flexible wires are installed in the slots on brackets to connect the braces and hold them together. The dentist will then use small bands or ligatures to keep the wires.

Metal braces work by applying pressure on the teeth, moving them to their proper alignment. The orthodontist will tighten the wires from time to time during the treatment period to move the jaw and teeth during regular visits to the dentist’s office. They could also bond or cement a metal ring or band to one of your back teeth to give extra strength and anchorage for the braces.

Checkups after installation of metal braces could be after every six or eight weeks. It ensures that your teeth attain correct alignment. Any issue detected during these regular visits will be fixed on the spot.

Types of Metal Braces

Orthodontists have significantly improved traditional metal braces to provide better treatment options for dental patients with crooked or misaligned teeth. Patients have a wide range of options to select from today, based on the dental issue they are experiencing and their dentist’s recommendation. The main types of metallic braces include:

Traditional Braces

These are the oldest types of braces. They have stood the test of time since they are still a favorite of most dental patients today. Most orthodontists recommend traditional braces to align teeth and solve dental issues associated with dental crowding and crooked teeth.

Traditional metal braces have three essential components to straighten your misaligned teeth. The base is a metal bracket that is fixed on the crown of each tooth.

The next component is the archwire that goes through the bracket. The archwire is usually flexible and made from stainless steel material. Orthodontists adjust it by changing it entirely or tightening it from time to time through the treatment period.

The elastics are the third component. Their role is to hold archwires in place inside the brackets. The elastics are wound onto the metal brackets once the archwires have been fixed. They ensure that the treatment progresses even as you bite or chew.

Elastics come in diverse colors. Thus, the orthodontist will allow you to choose your preferred color to customize your look. You could enjoy the treatment process this way. You can change this color every time you meet the orthodontist for the regular adjustment of your braces.

Traditional metal braces are a very effective treatment method for most orthodontic issues. However, it is crucial to note that the brackets will apply sufficient pressure on the teeth immediately after installation or adjustment. It means that you could experience pain or discomfort a few moments after treatment or an appointment with your dentist. Additionally, the elastics could create friction with your teeth, which could be uncomfortable initially. But, you will quickly become accustomed to them and will be comfortable eating, laughing, and speaking a few weeks into the treatment.

Self-Ligating Braces

They are slightly different from the traditional braces, but they work just the same in aligning crooked teeth. Self-ligating braces are a slight improvement of the traditional braces. They are chosen by patients who prefer smaller brackets without the elastics that hold the archwires together.

Self-ligating braces comprise metal brackets with clips on the outer part to open and close. The clips attach to the brackets. The orthodontist will only open the clips when adjusting or changing the archwire and then snap them close.

The treatment process is more comfortable with self-ligating braces since you will require fewer adjustments by your orthodontists for regular adjustments. Additionally, using metal clips instead of elastics reduces damage to the braces during the treatment period. Thus, you will not need to see your dentists biweekly for replacements.

Your orthodontist can make an adjustment that will gradually straighten your misaligned teeth over a more extended period without the need to adjust or change the archwire. The metal bracket slowly applies pressure on the teeth, allowing you sufficient time to become accustomed to them before new adjustments are installed. With time, you will go on with your daily chores without stressing about the risks of missing an appointment with your dentist.

Another reason why most patients prefer self-ligating braces is due to the improved aesthetic. Their brackets are incredibly smaller than what you receive with traditional braces. The brackets are also made out of stainless steel material. Using metallic clips instead of colorful elastics minimizes the number of colors you will have on the teeth after the installation.

Lingual Metal Braces

More people want to discreetly wear metal braces without attracting the attention of people around them. Lingual metal braces allow you to enjoy effective dental alignment without attracting more attention to your teeth.

Lingual braces feature customized brackets that the orthodontist will install at the back of each tooth. The brackets are designed according to the shape of your teeth. While their installation method is different from other metal braces, the mechanism of aligning teeth is the same.

However, lingual braces are more expensive than other metal braces mentioned above. It is mainly due to the customization required before the installation process. They are primarily preferred by professionals in industries like acting and sports, in which a person’s image is crucial for their career growth.

Advantages of Metal Braces

Before you choose to have metal braces, it is advisable to consider the advantages and disadvantages. It helps you to make an informed decision. Allow your orthodontist to explain the treatment process and then take time to evaluate every piece of information you have. Some of the advantages of metal braces are:

They are Highly Effective

Crooked or misaligned teeth are a serious issue that should not be allowed to linger for a long time. The more you remain with misaligned teeth, the higher the chances that you will experience severe dental problems like decay and gum disease soon. Thus, you need a highly effective treatment option. Metal braces have worked well for millions of patients across the globe. The chances of fixing your crooked, misaligned, and protruding teeth are high. Metal braces are also very effective in improving bad bites and gaps between teeth. You can be sure that you will enjoy a better smile and more functional teeth at the end of the treatment period.

Treatment With Metal Braces is Fast

Metal braces start working immediately after their installation. The mechanism through which they straighten crooked teeth is pretty compelling. You could wear metal braces for two to three years, but you will enjoy improved dental health for life. Thus, they are an excellent investment.

Metal Braces are Inexpensive

Compared to other dental procedures that produce profound results, metal braces are pretty priced. The cost of installation and maintenance cannot compare with the expected results. It is a one-time cost that will change your life forever. It will significantly impact your overall health.

Metal Braces are Durable

They are designed to last a patient throughout the treatment period. Thus, they are strong enough. Metal braces can withstand internal pressure from chewing, biting, and brushing the teeth. The materials used to make most components of metal braces are stainless steel and titanium.

Therefore, braces should not interfere with your life. Once you are comfortable enough to function with them, you can carry on with your life as you did before the installation. But, you must stay away from hard, crunchy foods that could break or weaken some components of your braces. Some people even continue with rigorous activities after the installation, including sports and working out.

Metal Braces Provide Constant Treatment

You remain with your braces throughout the treatment period after installation. Thus, treatment is ongoing, without any interruptions in between. It improves their effectiveness in delivering the desired results. Metal braces are beneficial for children who don’t want to worry about maintaining their effectiveness. If you follow the instructions provided by the orthodontist after installation, your treatment will progress well until the end of your treatment period.

Metal Braces Work for All

If you are experiencing dental problems that metal braces can fix, you can be sure that their installation will work for you regardless of your age and gender. Children, young and older adults can significantly benefit from this orthodontic treatment method. Braces deliver results that will impact your oral health and general well-being for life.

Installation of Metal Braces

The treatment procedure with metal braces starts with a visit to the dentist due to various dental issues you could be experiencing, whether bad breath, cavities, or gum disease. Some patients visit their dentist when they realize that some of their teeth are not as straight as they should be. Your dentist will conduct an in-depth examination to determine the problem and recommend treatment procedures. Sometimes, dentists recommend various treatment procedures to allow patients to select from the available options based on the underlying issue. Since it is an orthodontic issue, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.

The orthodontist will take you through the treatment details to ensure that you understand how the process and treatment work before the actual installation. Feel free to ask questions during this session to understand every detail regarding metal braces. Remember that you will live with braces for up to three years. Thus, you must be well-informed to enjoy a smoother journey.

Once you agree with the orthodontist to have metal braces, the orthodontist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums for suitability for installation. The examination includes physical assessment and sometimes x-rays and scans based on the extent of the underlying dental issue. The orthodontist will evaluate the strength and health of your teeth and gums to determine whether they can support braces through the treatment period. If you have a dental problem that could affect your treatment with braces, you will have it treated first.

Once your orthodontist has all the information regarding your oral health and general wellbeing, they can develop a treatment plan that best suits your needs.

Installation of metal braces is a painless process. The orthodontist will carefully install metal brackets and then fix the archwire to begin the alignment process. The orthodontist will start the process by deep cleaning your teeth to remove any buildup and plaque that could affect the effectiveness of the treatment. They will then smother the teeth surfaces to ensure that the metal brackets hold perfectly. The orthodontist will apply a cement adhesive on the back of the bracket, which they then place gently on the teeth, one at a time.

At the end of the treatment, the orthodontist will allow the adhesive some time to dry for more firm support. They could use a UV light to quicken the drying process. Once all the brackets are firmly in place, the orthodontist will proceed to place the archwire. The last procedure would be to secure the installation with elastics or clips, based on the type of metal braces you choose. The entire process could take about an hour or more, depending on how thorough your orthodontic is.

Caring for Metal Braces After Installation

The orthodontist will give you a list of after-treatment precautions to ensure your braces work well throughout the treatment period. Some of the precautions you should have in mind include:

  • Only eat braces-friendly foods — They do not include chewy and crunchy foods as these could damage your braces
  • Keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing regularly — It will remove any stuck food particles from your braces. That prevents bacterial growth, leading to dental problems like cavities and gum disease. Brushing your teeth regularly will also protect your teeth from stains.
  • Keep up with your follow-up and adjustment appointments — It will allow the orthodontist to review your treatment progress and make adjustments. A problem detected during these appointments is resolved on the spot.

Find a Reliable Orthodontist Near Me

Are your misaligned teeth affecting your eating, biting, speaking, or confidence?

It could be time to see an orthodontist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately for you, several treatment procedures that could benefit your situation are available today. Among them is the installation of metal braces. Metal braces will straighten your teeth to restore their functionality and your confidence. It will also help you avoid numerous dental issues like bad breath and bad bites. If you need to see an orthodontist in Whittier, CA, you can visit us at The Whittier Dentist. We have a team of highly skilled and experienced dentists that will conduct an in-depth examination of your teeth, gums, jaw, and mouth to recommend the best treatment method for your situation. Call us at 562-632-1223 for more information.